Shorts: The arts

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Ayelet Waldman to speak in Pleasanton

Author Ayelet Waldman will discuss her latest novel, “Love and Other Impossible Pursuits,” at a reception and presentation Thursday, Nov. 2 at Congregation Beth Emek in Pleasanton.

The event is sponsored by the Jewish Community Federation of the Greater East Bay and held in conjunction with the Contra Costa Jewish Book Festival.

Hors d’oeuvres and wine will be served at 6:30 p.m. and the author presentation will begin at 7:30. The reception is free; the presentation is $10.

Congregation Beth Emek is located at 3400 Nevada Court in Pleasanton. To RSVP, call (925) 943-5238.

Magnes explores history of U.S. museums

The Judah L. Magnes Museum next month will join a national initiative promoting museums in American life.

At 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 19, the museum will sponsor a talk with author Marjorie Schwarzer, who wrote “Riches, Rivals and Radicals: 100 Years of Museums in America.” The lecture will accompany a screening of a PBS special of the same name, and a discussion on the history of Jewish museums in America will follow.

The event is part of the Year of the Museum, a national effort celebrating the variety of American museums and their contributions to civic and cultural life. To learn more, visit the American Association of Museums’ Web site at www.aam-us.org/sp/yom.

Unclaimed Nazi-looted art online

Works of art likely looted by the Nazis and currently residing in Austrian museums and collections are now listed in a searchable online database.

More than 7,500 works are listed in the database, which is administered by the Claims Conference and World Jewish Restitution Organization. The site can be viewed at www.kunstrestitution.at. It is currently available in German only, and an English version will be available next year.